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It is said that when a leave falls from a tree, it returns to its roots.
This has a deep meaning apart from being physically true, it also the metaphor of the (cycle) need for renovation or innovation.
Creativity in the field of art is not invention, it is the process of transforming experiences, either aesthetical or technological into something new, personally new, as it is man who creates.

Art has been long preceded by the enquiry of man about it's surroundings, the elements such as fire, lightening, Nature itself, getting acquainted with what we call Reality before phrasing the main  question: the meaning of life or, in other words: what am I doing here?
The perception of reality is very interesting. When confronted with an image like the one below, one ask, what is it?

One needs to identify instinctively. It is a very primeval need to understand with the brain what the eyes are seeing, therefore the eyes do not lead the brain to analyze the detail. It is as if one had a written paper 5 mm away from his eyes.

Then, suddenly, the mystery is over when we see the whole picture. Which means appropriate distance.

The public generally speaks about artists, designers and craftsmen based on what is shown, on the mastery of technique alone, often without knowing that it all begins with the capacity to perceive what they see, and later, to see only with the mind, reconstructing, reshaping what was seen with the eyes.
Sometimes there is a natural inclination, a tendency towards being creative, or being able to work with one's hands to achieve what one wants with the mind. This is very much just the beginning...but the mechanism is usually not revealed for there is no absolutes.
In fact it is of the foremost importance for an artist or a designer (in the sense of creative beings independently of the media they use) to be able to make associations, connections or links in a holistic perspective.
Many self called artists tend to replicate over and over, not realizing that in doing so, they are more under the umbrella of a craft than that of creativity which is always imbued with meanings and necessary innovations as can be seen in Demée's works.
Being aware of this, I believe that each of us has therefore, the human, moral and ethical obligation towards his own self to search for new frontiers within, by opening our minds without prejudices. 
The creative mind sees something and starts making connections which will end up breaking rules, inventing new things, always rooted on a broad perspective where definitions are only necessary for communicating, and some notions of history, sociology, art and so forth are of paramount importance for being able to innovate, no matter how little.
Let's start from the beginning, and that is the sun, and therefore the circle.

         
 

Through the observation of these images there are different appeals of the significant kind. Is it the star we call sun or the earth that concerns the designer? He may wish to know that the earliest of wheels were just a piece of a tree trunk that resembled the sun or moon. But he may also want to know that the wheel itself connects him to what is said in the Tao Te Qing "we join spokes in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move". From the sun to the wheel, the creative mind understands the importance of space, emptiness, void, though never forgetting the circle.

 
         
         
 

The head crowns the body. It is it's center, where the brain and the mind resides. Whether one shaves the head or lets his hair grow to enormous lengths, these are choices that mean exactly the same: the head is crowned by its baldness or by its hairiness and in the words of Cézanne everything can be resumed to a sphere, a cone, a cylinder and other geometrical shapes as he proves it in his card players. Therefore the head is mainly a circle and with this in mind one can verify how a circle is crowned with another circle, whether it is made of feathers, a shaved skull-top surrounded by hair,  a turban or the golden aura of sanctity, a symbol similar to the third eye painted in red or shown in relief in Buddhist sculptures.
What is apparently different becomes similar. It is the understanding of these and other connections that constitutes the adventure of the holistic vision that is applied both to the sacred and the profane.

 
         
 

This need to divinize the head, to elect it as the most important part of the human body has led not only to very close similarities between the way people cover their heads with different meanings. To all these meanings, ethnicity presides over the Irish man, the mitnadic Rabbi, the Indonesian Muslim or the North African. But ethnicity itself is a collection of beliefs and habits. Shapes are almost identical. What has led to the existence of such different, yet so evident connections?
Human beings cover their heads to somehow hide them as the act of covering one's head in cultural terms has not only protective intentions but also of ranking, or of highlighting the most important and vital part of one's body.
For this very reason, beheading is an intentional way of severing the body from it's most significant part, while head hunting is part of a ritual of appropriation that sees in the habit of taking an enemy's scalp another example of the appropriation of part of the head's extension: hair.
We are, therefore, dwelling in the realm of shapes and meanings. Similar shapes with different meanings or intentions.

 
         
         
 

We, as human beings, are part of Nature and the Universe. Taking a deep conscience on this allows us to see that one of the shapes of the Universe is the spiral, that is replicated on Earth. The spiral is the circle in movement or, put in another way, the spiral is the birth of the circle. Be it two galaxies, a hurricane, water swirling or the Nautilus shell, what is offered to us is both expansion or convergence, but most important is the realization that the center is void. The center of a hurricane is complete tranquility, so is the hollow of the water going down the drain. Same applies with many of the concepts of Aikido. The pictures depict a technique called irimi-nage which emulates, the spiral of a hurricane where the uke is the peaceful eye of the hurricane. That is why, it's founder, understood the spirituality coming from the apparent paradox of a martial art he called Ai Ki Do.
Philosophy or Geometry? Mainly it is Phi the golden number. You are invited to explore the reading of 1.618033 in different sites.

 
         
 

Geometry defines Phi in the diagram, but it is present as well in the thistle and the pyramid in the Louvre represents the living metaphor of the recycling/re-circling not only of geometry, but also of concepts and of one important element: memory.
Memory can be said as being everything in mankind's culture. Tradition, knowledge, learning, affirming, all are connected to Memory.
Culture and civilizations are also based in common memory, and it is this that generates knowledge which in turn spins like the golden number if we allow us no barriers.

 
         
 

Arches are again architectural elements that may either represent not only a way to solve a passage or an entrance, but also may have been inspired by the solar disc, or the elongated arch which elevates itself as a hymn or a reference to the sun's rising movement, or the third arch that is based on a equilateral triangle. All arches are pure geometry, in which case, can geometry not be part of art or design expression?
We started with the sun and we are now in arches. Can this announce a holistic journey of mind associated images? In other words, we see with our mind, which means that the way we see one same object is subordinated to the way our mind is shaped.

 
 
 
 

It is therefore, under these parameters that art has always shown a characteristic: it is not a pure depiction of reality but generally and mostly, an interpretation of what we call reality.
In an earlier article Viewing Art Not as an Imitation of Reality, I made a simple exercise on what could be the result of an abstractionist result. However abstractionism does not really imply that one has to start from a portrait of reality. Realism was but a movement, like hyper-realism.
Painting or sculpture serve analytical results operated by the artist himself.
While the two examples on the left below, one from the Pre-Historic cave at Lascaux and the other a picture of time effects in a wall - casual, therefore - share walls in common, what approaches one to another is that both had no intention of being Art. The first one had a magical intention, while the second, separated thousands of years from the first, is the work of time in a wall which was then seen and appropriated for its intrinsic expressive qualities.

 
         
 

In the figurative field, the far left shows a detail of a work by Jerome Bosch while the blue background shows the genius of an artist who titled this painting Casino Republic I, and is mainly an interpretation of reality, that can be more accurate than reality itself because it is subjected to a point of view, it carries a story telling that inevitably is critical to a specific situation, not passive. Bosch and Konstantin Bessmertny share this faculty of seeing. They are definitely not neutral or passive. Art is never neutral or passive.

 
   
 

SEEING IS A MENTAL POSTURE NOURISHED BY THE UNCEASING QUEST OF THE MEANING OF CULTURE, OF ART, OF SOCIETY, MANKIND AND IS UNDENIABLY A CRITICAL AND ANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVE.


The act of seeing is, therefore not a optical phenomena, but a holistic perspective from which the author, any author who is not self-centered, perceives realities and events scrutinized by his own self created set of values and from these inputs a reaction takes place, be it under a political reaction such as Guernica or Andy Warhol or James Rosenquist, Pop Artists depicting icons and instant gratification goods of an industrialized America or, the earlier Giacometti and one of his sculptures. Finally Francis Bacon and his famous portrait of the pope, all are not realistic paintings, but rather interpretations of reality, very much like the cave art painting that was a representation of reality. Nothing has indeed changed in thousands of years. The proximity to reality does not mean necessarily a quality. It is the consciousness of what lies within that makes a world of difference.

 
 
         
 

I'm a firm believer that each person must be ready to give up his own perspective of reality, or the perception of it - the Buddhists call it illusions - and be ready to open oneself and embrace a much wider view of culture and inherent cultural expressions that will allow for the emergence, in each person, of a well established Faculty of Seeing that will definitely create a conscious observation and the development of a self critical identity of what we see, what we appreciate and why.
There are elements in today's overall culture, where geographic barriers can be cleared by the internet, that will definitely be giving way to a cultural hybridism in all fields, and cultural differences and identities are exchanged through the net. These are of immense relevant importance.
This article intends to bring up the connections between cultures, shapes and different areas of knowledge and consider these as inherited or absorbed values of culture and it's subsequent thoughts towards the understanding of the creative process and the necessary self criticism that each artist performs in order to distinguish in his own work what is correct from what is not so well achieved.
The consumer, by understanding the mechanisms will definitely become more clear of the entire process.
In the end, in general terms, an artist or designer creates today the past of tomorrow. Just remember Leonardo da Vinci.

 
                 
          Antonio Conceição Júnior